After remaining closed for nine months after the Covid outbreak, movie theatres will reopen in Kerala on January 13 with Tamil superstar Vijay’s Pongal film Master. Unfortunately, crucial scenes from the movie have been leaked on social media.
The film’s director Lokesh Kankaraj on Twitter wrote, “Dear all, It’s been a 1.5 year long struggle to bring Master to u. All we have is hope that you’ll enjoy it in theatres. If u come across clips from the movie, please don’t share it.”
The decision to reopen theatre was reached following discussions held by the Chief Minister and cinema organisations. According to Film Chamber officials during a press conference, Malayalam films will be released post Master on a priority basis.
The Kerala government in a move to help the film industry in the state has decided to waive the entertainment tax for cinemas from January to March along with 50 per cent reduction in the fixed charges on electricity during the lockdown period since March 2020. The government has however refused to allow theatre to run second shows. Theatres will also have only 50 per cent occupancy, a measure suggested by the Union government.
According to sources, close to 85 movies are awaiting releases, while around 30 films are in different stages of completion. Mammootty’s One and Priest, Mohanlal’s Arabikadalinte Simham, Fahadh Faasil’s Malik and Dulquer Salmaan’s Kurup are amongst the big releases on the list. Mollywood stars such as Mammootty, Mohanlal Manju Warrier and Prithviraj Sukumaran took to social media to thank the chief minister for announcing the concessions for the film industry.